From a professional base in photography and arts writing, an academic foundation in fine art, the history of photography, American Studies and the perspective of a citizen of the United States, the work of Bill Gaskins explores questions about photography and the portrait in the 21st century. A critical entry point for the viewer is his fascination with the myths of photography and American culture and representations of African American people. His approach to photography as both producer and critical spectator has garnered attention through commissions, artist residencies, grants, public lectures, solo and group exhibitions, exhibition catalogs and books.

Good And Bad Hair: Photographs by Bill Gaskins is his breakthrough monograph on the role of hairstyling and photographic representation in African American culture(s) that is also a reflection on the societal and transcultural role of hair, adornment and personal identity.

As an artist, teacher, scholar, and essayist, Bill Gaskins’ artwork, teaching, writing, lectures and workshops examine race and visual representation, photography & the portrait, the history of photography, contemporary art and the politics of visual culture, media literacy, the evolution of university art education, and the artist as citizen.


As a professor of art, Bill Gaskins has taught at The Ohio State University, the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, the University of Missouri, the College of Art, Media & Technology and the College of Art and Design Theory and History at Parsons School of Design, and the graduate program in Media Studies in The New School for Public Engagement. Presently he is an Associate Professor in the Department of Art with a faculty appointment in the American Studies Program at Cornell University.

Bill Gaskins received his Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from the Tyler School of Art, a Master of Arts Degree from The Ohio State University, and a Master of Fine Arts Degree from the Maryland Institute, College of Art.





“As teacher, he has the passion, the patience and the psychological insight to listen and
respond to his students or audiences effectively, and is an artist with a rich body of work

that addresses the relationship between race and photographic representation.”


Carin Kuoni, Director

The Vera List Center for Art & Politics

“Bill Gaskins is a brave social realist whose artistic work is informed by a unique
perspective on the role of the artist in making perfect sense, or nearly perfect sense out
of contemporary life in the United States.”

Dr. Clement Alexander Price, Director
Rutgers University Institute on Ethnicity, Culture, and the Modern Experience